Famous associations have offered artists the perfect programme to design fantasy contexts, says Chris Hall
Caligula throwing the two parties ,” was how the funk musician Rick James described the legendary Studio 54 in New York, which opened in 1977. There was a cocaine snorting” Man and the Spoon” aspect that they are able to descend from the ceiling when required, there were accumulations of cash in the back area, unisex lavatories and stunts like Bianca Jagger riding a mare on the dancefloor led by a naked person covered in gold glitter.
The key thing about Studio 54, which features in a brand-new show about global squad culture at Vitra Design Museum, was its adaptability. It could become a different fantasy environ to act as backdrop for the outrageous dress and theater of the two parties goers- such as when four tonnes of light were dropped from the club’s ceiling on New Year’s Eve or when the fashion designer Valentino had a circus-themed birthday defendant with sand and mermaids on trapezes.
” The 60 s and 70 s met the rise of the idea that you don’t design a nightclub, you create the minimal designing ingredients to make a nightclub ,” says Catharine Rossi, a layout historian at Kingston University, who has co-curated the exhibition.” What’s important is not the physical space- genuinely the nightclub is just a container. Clubs are became through illuminating and sound, psychotropic doses and parties .”
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